Hats donation ensures pony riding continues

Kathy Calland and Jennifer Petrie, from Riding for the Disabled Association, together with pupils from the Duchesss Community High School and Barndale House School.
Kathy Calland and Jennifer Petrie, from Riding for the Disabled Association, together with pupils from the Duchesss Community High School and Barndale House School.

An Alnwick school and well-known business teamed up to ensure youngsters could still enjoy a much-loved activity.

The Alnwick group of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) offers pupils from town-based Barndale House School pony-riding sessions at Townfoot Stables, in Shilbottle.

These sessions provide the children with physical exercise and therapy, development of personal skills and the chance to have fun, enjoy riding and learn about looking after the horses. During the past year, 14 pupils have gained certificates in horse care, riding and endeavour.

Last year, the EU Commission introduced new regulations for riding hats, which meant that the current ones would be withdrawn and pony riding would have to stop unless new hats were sourced.

To their rescue came students from Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick, who donated £250 from their Children in Need fund-raising, and Jobson’s of Alnwick, which sourced hats at a discounted rate.

Kathy Calland, secretary of Alnwick RDA, said: “We are thrilled that the high school and Jobson’s considered this such a worthy cause; the pupils of Barndale thoroughly enjoy coming to their pony-riding sessions and gain so much from it.

“With this help, we can continue pony-riding sessions for the foreseeable future.”

Pupils from both schools joined Kathy Calland and Jennifer Petrie, from Alnwick RDA, to present the hats.